Iran Warns U.S. after Patriot Deployment to Iraq

W460

Iran warned the US Wednesday that it was leading the Middle East to disaster in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic after it deployed Patriot air defence missiles to Iraq.

Washington had been in talks with Baghdad about the proposed deployment since January but it was not immediately clear whether it had secured its approval or not.

Iran, which wields huge influence in its western neighbour, said that it had not.

The US deployment runs "counter to the official position of the Iraqi government, parliament and people," a foreign ministry statement said.

It called for a halt to "warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak" and warned that US military activities in the region could lead it to "instability and disaster".

Iran is in the throes of one of the world's deadliest coronavirus outbreaks with more than 3,000 fatalities. The US death toll has meanwhile surpassed Iran's, topping 4,000.

US forces should "respect the wishes of the Iraqi people and government and leave the country," the Iranian foreign ministry added.

The Patriot is Washington's principal anti-missile missile system.

Its deployment to Iraq comes after a spate of rocket and other attacks on bases and other facilities used by US personnel that Washington has blamed on Tehran-backed Shiite militias or Tehran itself.

One of the Patriot batteries was delivered to the Ain al-Asad in western Iraq last week and is now being assembled, a US defence official and an Iraqi military source said.

Ain al-Asad was hit by a retaliatory Iranian missile strike in January after Washington killed Tehran's foreign operations chief Major General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike just outside Baghdad airport.

A second battery was deployed to a base in Arbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. 

Two more are still in Kuwait, where Washington has rear bases for its operations in Iraq, the US official said.

Iraqi leaders have resisted US deployment of the advanced weapons system for fear that it would anger Iran and further ratchet up tensions between its main allies.

On Monday, Iraq's caretaker prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi warned against any "offensive military action without the approval of the Iraqi government." He did not specifically mention the Patriot deployment.

Comments 6
Thumb liberty 01 April 2020, 15:18

US forces should "respect the wishes of the Iraqi people and government and leave the country," the Iranian foreign ministry added.

and of course Iran speaks for the Iraqi people and government!

May Corona continue to thrive and prosper in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Thumb s.o.s 01 April 2020, 17:48

Haha

May the Iranian people topple the sick theocracy sooner rather than later.

Thumb Mystic 04 April 2020, 19:41

The corona virus prospers just the same in the U.S, don't feel you are immune, Trump spends more money on warfare than he does on healthcare, how about you people thought about ordinary American citizens instead of imperialism?

Missing samiam 01 April 2020, 17:17

And why is Iran against defensive weapons again?

Missing un520 02 April 2020, 00:59

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Iran is planning to attack against American troops in Iraq.

"If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!" he warned.

Missing un520 02 April 2020, 01:02

Time to get some popcorn. I really hope the Iranians are that stupid.